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Breaking Down Barriers & Building Bridges

Preparing for Lent feels different this year...

I have always considered Lent a time to give something up that I would rather not part with- like sweets, or television, or social media. I consider beforehand what thing I should let go of and then I dread the reality of letting it go.

I remember when I gave up television as a newly ordained minister in rural Tennessee. The truth was that I was lonely being so far from my friends from seminary and television filled that void. It was hard parting with it even as it was good for me to do so.

But this year, as I have spent time with Pastor John Lee of Mount Zion, I am entering the season with much more joy and anticipation. As I consider the things we need to give up that separate us from one another, these are things that I want to part with!

I'm tired of living in a culture that focuses so much on our differences that we miss out on what we have in common.

I'm overwhelmed by the constant notion that each of us fits in one box or another and lack the capacity to have a diverse range of social, political and religious opinions.

I'm sick of social media battles where we hold so much potential to hurt one another and so little potential to create significant and constructive change

And I am fueled by the belief that when we come together across lines of difference that real and significant transformation is possible. It feels like our work this Lent is an act of resistance toward that which threatens to divide us.

Pastor Lee and I were unlikely friends because of our many differences. Yet, from the first time we met we have encouraged, challenged and inspired each other. He has become a trusted colleague and friend and it has become clear that we are stronger together. I think we both feel so passionate about this series because of the transformation we have experienced. We want our beloved church members and wider community to experience that transformation too.

I am glad that tonight we will begin our time together around tables, breaking bread and sharing fellowship. We will share in a simple soup supper at 5pm and follow with worship at 6. I hope you will join us and consider how you are called to journey with God and with your neighbors this Lent.

Below you will find a worksheet that we will hand out tonight that might help you begin to think about what you hope for during this season.



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